Jeannette banking on team effort to repeat last year's success
By Dave Mackall
Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 11:39 p.m.
Jeannette may not be the preseason favorite among WPIAL Class AA boys basketball teams in 2012-13, but the Jayhawks emphatically insist that a deep roster could carry them to their second title in six years.
It is a roster devoid of career 1,000-point scorer Demetrious Cox, the team leader who accepted a football scholarship to Michigan State.
“He carried a lot of weight. It was his team last year,” Jeannette coach Adrian Batts said.
And while it was a similar sentiment that other Jeannette players and coaches were expressing, there was a fresh anticipation that something special might be brewing this year.
“I feel like there's not so much emphasis on one player now. It's everybody's team,” said guard Duke Brown, one of three returning Jayhawks to average double figures — his 15.1 ppg were second to guard Orlando Morgan's 16.1.
Both 6-foot-3 seniors were joined last year in double figures by then-freshman point guard Julian Batts (10.7 ppg.), the coach's son.
“We're taking the attitude that we're all equal,” Brown said. “We think we're going to be better than last year's team, but we're going to have to rebound the basketball to get our offense in gear.”
The race in Class AA is likely to include Jeannette, which is coming off a 17-9 season that ended with a second-round loss to Greensburg Central Catholic in the PIAA playoffs. The Jayhawks lost in the WPIAL playoffs to eventual champion and state runner-up Beaver Falls in the quarterfinals.
The Tigers, who lost to Imhotep Charter in the PIAA title game, are minus forward Sheldon Jeter — a freshman at Vanderbilt — but return an experienced team led by senior guards Elijah Cottrill (13.1 ppg.) and Drew Cook (10.4 ppg.).
“They are two of the top players in Class AA,” Coach Batts said.
Yet the same could be said for any combination of players at Jeannette. Seth Miller, a 6-5 senior center, and Jordan Edmunds, a 5-10 senior guard — two other returning players — could round out the opening-day lineup.
Batts said he'll also rely on his junior forwards: 6-3 Damone Morton, 6-4 Miles Sunder, 6-3 Mike Wise and 6-5 Jonah Yunker, a transfer from Greensburg Central Catholic.
They are part of a versatile, 14-man roster that the Jayhawks hope will mesh.
“We've still got a lot of kids who didn't play much, but that shouldn't matter,” said the 5-11 Julian Batts. “Everyone understands our system, and everyone is excited about the season.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5617.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High school roundup: Bethel Park edges USC in Section 4 opener
- A-K Valley girls basketball teams struggling to score points
- Alle-Kiski high school basketball notebook: Miller’s return boosts strong Knoch lineup
- Greensburg roundup: Burns scores 34 to lead Hempfield past Connellsville
- Norwin uses early-season experience to rout Latrobe
- Daily News roundup: West Mifflin girls roll in Section 4 opener
- Belle Vernon’s defense stymies Ringgold, 47-31
- Baldwin junior guard earns MVP award at McKeesport
- Gillaspie’s 33 leads Monessen, 82-55
- Seton-La Salle’s Clancy off to soaring start after 44-point performance
- Fourth quarter sinks Charleroi